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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/144

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The History of Sindban and

Wife. XIV.—Reply of the wicked woman:—When the woman heard that the king had ordered that his son be not killed, she entered the presence of the king, and addressed him: "I have faith in God, that he will grant me victory over those philosophers of thine who give thee base counsels, just as he granted victory to a certain man over a lion and over an ape." The king answers: "How so?" She replies: "There was a caravan of merchants journeying on the way, and they had a great quantity of cattle. As night approached, they entered and tarried in a large yard; but they did not close the gate. So a lion came and entered among the cattle, without anyone observing it. Now a thief came in order to steal, but it was night-time and dark. The thief felt the cattle, to see which beast was the fattest to steal, it being dark; and while, having entered, he was feeling about, his hand came in contact with the lion, and, having perceived that it was fat, he caught hold of it dragged it out, and mounted it, while, through fright, the lion leaped forth and came out, for the lion thought within himself: 'The one of whom I have heard that people call him the night-watchman is surely he who has mounted me.' And the lion was afraid of him, and ran all night long, with the man on his back. When it was morning, the lion entered a thicket; and the thief, recognising that it was a lion, in his fear, stretched forth his hand to one of the branches of the tree, and climbed up the tree. The lion escaped from beneath him and scampered off, when an ape met him, and asked him why he was trembling, to whom the lion replies: 'This night there caught hold of me the one whom men style the Watchman of the Night: he mounted me, and I ran with him on me all night long, till with difficulty I have been released from him.' The ape said to him: 'And where is he?' He beheld the man, while the lion was standing at a distance afraid, and was looking on, to learn what the ape would do. Now the man, out of fear both for the lion and for the ape, espied a